Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers was awarded several new honors at the 13th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits, presented by the American Distilling Institute, in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday evening. The distillery was awarded Best of Category Coffee Liqueur and a Silver Medal for Amaro Pazzo, a collaborative spirit made with Madcap Coffee Company. They also won a Gold Medal for Long Road Raspberry Liqueur and Silver Medals for Long Road Aquavit, Old Aquavit, Barrel Reserve Gin and Nocino. The awards were presented at the American Distilling Institute’s Annual Gala which was held at the Denver Convention Center in Denver, CO on Tuesday evening.
Over 800 spirits from around the world were entered into the ADI Judging, all from independently owned distilleries. The double-blind competition is based on a 100-point scale and spirits are judged within price categories. Judges cast their votes for the best spirit entries and award medals for first (Gold), second (Silver), and third (Bronze) place for each qualifying category.
Amaro Pazzo was created in collaboration with Madcap Coffee Company and utilizes Madcap’s Reko coffee as one of the primary ingredients in the finished product. Unlike many other coffee liqueurs, Amaro Pazzo calls on a long tradition of Italian herbal liqueurs, commonly enjoyed before or after dinner. While there are significant differences from brand to brand, amaro is typically bitter-sweet in flavor and has some sugar added for balance.
“We’re extremely proud of the ‘best-of’ recognition Amaro Pazzo received at this year’s competition,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “Our team, in partnership with folks at Madcap, worked intentionally to create something unique and truly exceptional.”
Madcap’s Reko coffee is an heirloom variety that comes from the Kochere region of Ethiopia, considered by many to be one of the best specialty coffee growing regions in the world. After tasting through coffee varieties from all over the world, Madcap and Long Road agreed that Reko would impart the most complimentary flavors for Amaro Pazzo, most notably bright citrus notes, lemongrass, and a hint of ginger.
In addition to Reko coffee from Madcap, Long Road Amaro Pazzo, is made with myrrh, turkey rhubarb, two types of orange, wormwood, and a blend of other ingredients. It is bottled at 57 proof, or 28.5% alcohol by volume. The award-winning spirit is available at the distillery’s tasting rooms in Grand Rapids and Boyne City, as well as numerous retailers and restaurants throughout the state of Michigan.